Good fences make great flamers

People (and by people I mean Paramedic, no one else bothered) have been asking me where the visionstone of Puddleby Players’ Bawkmas pageant: Darles Chickens’ magnificent A Bawkmas Carol is.

We’re not releasing it.

Our camerazo got drunk and forgot to press the stop switch on his visionstone so it lasts several hours. Not only that, but it finished with a big musical number. Now unfortunately due to the limitations of visionstone technology, music and speech playback speeds are not the same so our big song’s lyrics are hopelessly out of sync.

Our next big production will be a musical and once again there will be no visionstone available of this play. If you’re not there live, you’ll really miss out. These rare pictures of A Bawkmas Carol are all that will be released of our last effort:

Punisher's warmup act remains ever popular

And the political satire remains as scathing as ever. Even if its rare for a dar'shak to preach religious tolerance

Cast from left: Inu Teisei as Screwage, Stora as Future Screwage, Noivad as a horrible vision of what people will be like in the future and Miug as the Ghost of Bawkmas Future

A display of unison singing during the big finalé

The cast take their curtain call except Stora who... OH MY GOD... WE LEFT HIM FALLEN BACKSTAGE... QUICK, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

On the plus side for those unable to make shows, Puddleby Players has decided to make some very short shorts out on location. We proudly present the first of these which can be downloaded here. It comes complete with a special behind the scenes peek at some of the shenanigans that went on during production.

Too much water hast thou, poor affiliate

Miug, Inu Teisei and I were doing what we do at the start of every play rehearsal, waiting for Pun’isher to turn up late in a blaze of apologies, when we heard a loud poof and a man appeared in the middle of the stage.

It turned out to be our never-before-seen producer. The man who had been responsible for getting us the various costumes we’ve needed for previous productions. This time he was here to show off a brand new change to the way plays will forever be presented.

If you want to know what it is though, nyuh, nyuh, you’re going to have to come to our next play. Also he finally gave us official affiliation status and after inducting Miug and Inu into the group, Eldon became a member too.

Eventually Pun turned up and she joined the affiliation as well. In the background here, you can see Miug as the heroine of our next show and Inu as the name-to-be-revealed-later villain. It will be performed in one show only at the end of May sometime.

Yet Eldon still doesn’t know what’s buried in the Playhouse foundations

St Prue's Day

We need an IC name for the holiday that’s just gone by. “Green Day” is already taken and although I’ve heard it called “St Prue’s Day”, if Prue is a saint, we’re all in deep trouble.

Anyway, by the time I left the library, there were already a whole slew of fallens in Tanglewood. Shiner organised the survivors, bolstered by yours truly and we fought our way through to the snell west of the Orga Camp, picking up fallens along the way, where we encountered a rare Orga Fearless.

Once inside the camp we heard a cry for help, after creaming a few locks we found a little green clad halfling called Grefo Toppa. He seemed confused at first and kept mentioning exiles who had long since left the lands. Eventually he spotted Althea and Afrit who remembered him as the old Forest Green shirt salesman who left in a chaos storm decades ago.

Fergar Egley, the remaining salesman from the little spot outside the OC accused him of being an orga spy, Grefo counterclaimed that for Fergar to remain unharmed in his location, he must be the orga spy. The exiles didn’t really care, just so long as they could buy a wider variety of clothing. And so, despite Fergar’s warning, Grefo started to sell shirts to exiles at varying prices depending on how expensive the clothing they were currently wearing was. I bought mine for 600c.

The trouble really began when Pe Ell started haggling over the price and refused to pay the 800c Grefo asked of him. Grefo stuck to his guns and Pe went back to town, brooding.

Next thing we knew, there was a trial starting at the courthouse with Pe Ell accusing Grefo of being an orga spy. Although it was something many exiles suspected, I’m sure that the dispute over the shirt price was really what motivated Pe Ell more than anything else to bring the matter before the courts. Pe Ell brought forward Wangah Rah and Fergar Egley as witnesses. Perhaps not the best choice. Fergar had a vested interest in keeping Grefo down in that he was a competing businessman and that Grefo had made the same accusation straight back. And as for Wangah, well… there may be one or two exiles who believe a word he says, but I’m not one of them.

Things seemed to be going well for Grefo until he totally lost his cool during his rebuttal. He accused the witnesses and plaintiff of being part of a worldwide Sylvan conspiracy against him. Sure, Fergar, Pe Ell and Wangah are all flower munching forest dwellers, but that was almost certainly a coincidence, wasn’t it?

Though a couple of us on the jury who already had green shirts considered the economic benefit offending Grefo so much that he went back to into hiding, we eventually found the case frivolous. Hoggle and I thought that it would be poetic justice if Pe Ell was fined 800c, the original cost of the shirt in question, but he was fined a little over 200 instead, minus whatever he used to bribe Wangah.

Grefo seemed placated by this and sold his remaining shirts including the one that he was actually wearing in the auction house, He was last seen wandering off into the forest muttering “1350” to himself, the amount Kerrah paid at auction. Maybe I got a bargain.

Much later, Benylin and I returned to the sales snell to see if Fergar had returned. He was visibly upset with the verdict and it wouldn’t surprise me if he had left in a huff. Sure enough, his spot was empty. I spoke with Ragi a little later and she said she could skry Grefo in the Orga Outback but that Fergar was undetectable, so it looks like we may have lost one forest green salesman at the expense of another.

All Fired Up

Some rare off peak excitement the other night (or day, depending on how you look at it). A whopping great hole opened up in the centre of town and fire drakes, beetles and all sorts of orangey-red nasties came out of it.

Not pictured Great Pumpkin, Gloria, Ronorag and any mystics safe in their academy napping while they wait for Tenebrion to send them a message

Off peak is a funny old time. When there are less than ten people clanning, those less-than-ten are rarely if ever working on the same thing, what with the varying degrees of ability and the fact that many just come out to ore/coin whore. It was good to see the whole town united in a common cause, not to mention the excitement value of an uncommon occurrence.

Anyway with J’nder showing how well she can brick, the drakes were taken care of and with some judicious uses of barrels of water, the lava was cooled down and the hole sealed.

My only regret is that the lava beetles were unchainable, that would have made the lava cloak prerequisite just a tad too easy. Must remember to get myself some champ toys one of these days.

The Tribulations of the Trial of Manticore

After a long and troubled production history, The Trial of Manticore was finally performed at the West End Theatre. That’s it for historical docudramas. The Puddleby Players are going back to light hearted, fluffy comedies after this. After a scathing political satire from our warm up act, Frozen Ham and Pun’isher, and some seating difficulties that needed to be cleared up, we got started.

Why is it that the spriggan sized guy in the theatre always ends up seated behind the greymyr?

In writing the script, I tried to be as fair to both sides of this debate as I could, and while the play was taking place I was carefully watching the audience to see their reaction to the portrayal of both sides. I was surprised not to see Salandra in the audience, no stranger to mystic controversy herself. We had corresponded over the subject matter and she was in town just prior to the performance. Perhaps she boycotted it.

There were probably more people from the anti-Manticore camp present…

…though not everyone was…

…and some people could have been watching a different play altogether

Nonetheless the whole thing went off with nary a hitch and seemed to be well received, the audience was smallish, even by our standards but had more Euro-clanners in the audience than usual who we felt were marginalised by the performance times of our previous plays. If we want the bigger crowds, we’ll stick to Bawkmas pageants and the like at the time of year when more people are out of the library. No matter how it is received I think it was an important work to have done. It has no mainland influence and is entirely based on Pudlebean history and I think that such things are important in defining a strong, independent Puddlebean culture, devoid of the cultural cringe associated with our separation from the Empire.

I think though that all the debating of the merits and deficiencies of Manticore’s character has finally been played out. At the end of the play, instead of empassioned debate about the issues, there was impassioned drinking and hitting each other with duelling swords instead, and for the first time, I’ll take this mindless violence and debauchery as a sign of maturity. While its okay to rehash the past, it’s best not to dwell too much on it.

Vale Roy Scheider

Sythe, the marine morphing ranger, was clearly affected by the recent passing of a famous fellow fish killer. As a tribute he placed some megamouths in the town zoo by the Sentinel. Those of us in town the proceeded to act out the whole famous story.

Hoggle and Afrit show of their street performance art skills. We should coerce them into joining the Puddleby Players.

Then Crius got in on the act

Then the Megamouths themselves.

At this point I quickly improvised something on the tuborn along the lines of “/efefef” in CLTH notation. Now technically this is breaking on of the Bard Guild rules, even if it’s just going up and down a semitone, but it appears that the gods weren’t displeased by it.

Speaking of performances, the Puddleby Players' newest work goes on tomorrow, if you're an early reader of this journal make sure you come see "The Trials of Manticore". Details in Thoomcare and the Sentinel.

Tor-tuous Rhyming

So animals have been going crazy lately. CJD? Perhaps, but Creutzfeldt-Jakob animals don’t talk ominously about harbingers and witnesses. I was present for one of these attacks. Actually, it was me who first sunstoned to the waiting world, but that’s beside the point.

I then sunstoned for backup, aarin' on the side of caution

Waves of increasingly stronger tors came to town from out of the Old Bear Caves. Including the purple variety from which the local doss house gets its name. We were by no means a particularly überish group so my darkite got a fair workout instead of me just tagging things. We fought them back to the first snell in of OBC and eventually found a creamy beige tor.

The same thing happened as in the prior rat, scavenger bird, starbuck and whatever-the-other-one-was attacks. On its death the differently coloured tor burst into flames, delivered a message and dropped a few coins for its slayers. Now I was informed that when the bloodhawky harbinger died, it dropped a horn that was picked up by an exile. As you can see from this visionstone footage, its Maeght that picks up the chest so if anyone has a bit of dead tor, its most likely to be him. I chained the dead harbinger, thinking it would make an attractive doorstop, however when it burst into flames all I ended up with was a singed chain. If there was no item drop, it may be my fault, like no strange looking stone if someone chains the magician, so I put out an appeal to every one: DON'T CHAIN THE HARBINGERS. Just to be safe I guess.

Congratulations, you have just won Clan Lord

Anyway, leaving aside all that, back to these mysterious messages. These have been collated in this Sentinel thread so I won’t rehash them all here but from its content we can ascertain two things about our enemy. The first is obvious. We’re dealing with an appallingly bad poet. Not just so-so mind, I mean truly awful. I couldn’t write anything that bad if I tried on purpose.

The second is even more ominous, the dead tor was called a “Harbinger of Torment”. Get it? Tor-ment. Not only is whoever is behind this an exceptionally bad poet but they have a penchant for puns as well. A lethal combination. I shudder to think that if the violence intensifies how much worse these verses will get.

Not that we exiles aren’t guilty of a bad one liner from time to time either.

Play it again, Samwise

Puddleby Players staged their third production. The process from inception to execution was incredibly quick, though the finished result may have been a little rough around the edges. It contained the three elements that I think should become the hallmarks of all future PP productions:

Bad risqué humour

Shameless advertising for our next production

Jokes at Daimoth’s expense

Inu Teisei, Largo, Miug and Pun’isher all did a bang up job and have shown real commitment to making the Puddleby Players work. It’d be nice to have a phantasmer as well for special effects as this would be one of the few times that particular skill would be really handy. Illora recorded a visionstone of the whole shebang including the after party and some barding and Pun’s “political” comedy beforehand. Thankfully, visionstones can now be fast forwarded.

Now We Are Two

Four puddleyears ago I celebrated my exile day anniversary with a pictorial retrospective in these journals. Well, it’s that time again. I’ve been here for two OOC years now and it’s been an interesting time and I’ve accomplished a fair bit. Here are some some snaps of some memorable events that I never bothered to write about, reproduced here for the first time.

Oh bother!

Once, Eldon hid MaryJane far, far away. Then he put a chest next to her and we decided to rescue her after all.

Speaking of MaryJane, it was a year of clothing fashion statements. Whether the obligatory purple…

…or snow lemming healer swarms.

But probably the biggest change in me was my slowly, inevitably and reluctantly shrugging off my newbie status. While my tactics are still awful and I’m as clumsy as when I first arrived, the inexorable progression of library ranks garnished with the odd hunt has made me marginally better than someone fresh off the boat. Thankfully, I see plenty of exiles who arrived after me with far better placed ranks, and more of them so that makes me feel a little better. Still, I’ve spent a bit of time escorting people around who actually need me.

Like this guy. Sits quietly in town, never hunts. So I took him out and showed him a good time.

Or this guy. Though he didn’t like this turn of phrase and said something about shortening the life of portal stones because of my disrespect

I coached Haro as hard as I could into pronouncing “lyfelidae” because it turns out Josi doesn’t speak Haro-ese.

This was the aftermath of a magnificent chain run where I picked up a couple of foolish mystics who went unaccompanied to CD. Unfortunately, the orgas got me on the way out and we waited AGES for a healer to come out of the library.

Mind you, when one did, I fared better than some.

This wasn’t the only time I left town to end up food for worms somewhere, but once every so often, things went right on a hunt.
Woohoo! Jokes on them, we’re still alive!

The famous time we found the way from the greymyr village to what we christened somewhat uncreatively “East Beach”.

There were more. My eyesight didn’t stretch far enough to see all that fur though.

Though hunting isn’t always about finding new things and getting ranks. You have to remember to check out some of the prettier spots and just chill.

Of course, sometimes things don’t go as planned. I tried to get that spriggan’s purse. I really did.

And sometimes things go disasterously.

But despite the setbacks I managed to get some personal development things accomplished.

I joined the Rising Claw and Thoomcare Affiliates™. Two phenomenal organizations.

And I subclassed after hundreds and hundred of ore checks.

All in all a good year, and I can go off (soon) to my annual extended library stay pleased of what I’ve accomplished and with many memories and laurels to rest on.